About Me

As a candidate for Hartford, Vermont Board of Selectmen I think it is important to establish a place where I can engage my fellow citizens in a public dialog open to all. After the election, this will transform into a blog devoted to discussing the issues before the board.

I’ve been a resident of Hartford since April, 1997, when my wife, Linda Labriola, and I moved into our home on Fairbanks Turn in Quechee. We both grew up in the NYC suburbs and went to parochial schools before heading off to college. I grew up in Huntington, on Long Island, more particularly in the part now known as Melville, the oldest of 6 kids. My extended family is quite large as well, and we do keep in touch. My dad passed away when I was 14 and my struggle to put myself thru college on scholarships, loans and work would not have been possible without a strong family and community ethic in support of higher education. This is the source of the voice you have heard me bring to town meeting during the past 14 years.

During my time at Cornell, I worked on George McGovern’s campaign, organizing volunteers to campaign in Keene, Claremont, and Hampton Beach during the 1972 NH primary. Thus my first foray into politics also included my first brush with the Upper Valley. Back on Long Island I was elected as an alternate to the convention for McGovern, one of a dozen or so 18 year old’s brought into the core of the process that year. I wound up organizing voter registration for the Democrats in Huntington that summer. Given that it was the first time 18 year olds could vote and that we were in the middle of the baby boomers turning 18, the fact that we added 10,000 new voters to the lists was not as difficult as you might imagine.

Subsequently I got involved with starting a bookstore in Ithaca that catered to the so-called alternative community, and we were the first publishers of the famous Moosewood Cookbook. After graduation I decided to forgo law school and pursued a career in publishing.  I moved to Manhattan in 1979 and worked for Doubleday and Bantam. Although I had a lot of great experiences, most especially bringing The 13th Valley, Rotisserie League Baseball and The Curse of Lono to life, my responsibilities as managing editor pushed me to master the new personal computers, and especially the database and spreadsheet applications. I began to look for a way to bring my IT skills together with my academic background in organizational behavior together with my publishing experience and began working on a series of special ad sections for Fortune. By the early 1990s I was a full fledged IT consultant working with a variety of companies integrating local area networks, accounting applications, email servers and the like. When we moved to Quechee, it was because my practice was mainly with large industrial firms involving a lot of travel, and there was no need to be in and around NYC. We sold our home in Stamford, CT and plunked down in Quechee, where my wife soon found herself automating the Quechee Library while I was working with Harley Davidson on the new Sportster/Buell plant in Kansas City or with the Siemens-Westinghouse gas turbine division in Orlando.

I’ve been active in the Quechee Lakes community, and led the opposition to the original plan to develop a 3rd golf course and attendant McMansions in the so-called “5c” parcel. This plan would have saddled the Quechee landowners with an impossible annual maintenance bill, but luckily enough I found material on the internet from a London firm that laid out the inner part of the deal as seen by the silent investors, and the plan collapsed as Quechee proponents saw evidence of the opposition misgivings. I truly believe that the original design for Quechee — – a recreational community largely populated by local families, not second homeowners, is a far better endpoint to strive for than the resort destinations our unique and special enclave is lumped with to our detriment, and the detriment of Hartford as a whole.

For the past four years, I have been working mostly with Narragansett Bay Insurance in Rhode Island, initially as a consultant to prospective owners, then as the CIO during the first three years of operation, and now again as a consultant, allowing me to spend more time working from home.

I’ve been a keenly interested observer of our town for the past 14 years, regularly but not always attending town meeting. I’ve been elected Justice of the Peace three times, and was appointed once to fill a vacancy by Gov. Douglas. A Democrat, I served as the first Hartford Chair to succeed the legendary Jeanne Dupuis, and served for 6 years on the Vermont Democratic State Committee.

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